Examining the interaction of the Dutch and the English in colonial
New York and New Jersey, this study charts the decline of European
culture in North America. Balmer argues that the combination of
political intrigue, English cultural imperialism, and internal
socio-economic tensions eventually drove the Dutch away from their
hereditary customs, language, and culture. He shows how this
process, which played itself out most visibly and poignantly in the
Dutch Reformed Church between 1664 and the American Revolution,
illustrates the difficulty of maintaining non-English cultures and
institutions in an increasingly English world. A Perfect Babel of
Confusion redresses some of the historiographical neglect of the
Middle Colonies and, in the process, sheds new light on Dutch
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